Elections in May - Security
Replies: 4 - Last Post: Dec 20, 2012 5:18 AM Last Post By: Pipefish3
Nov 23, 2012 3:44 AM
Elections in May - SecurityHi,
i think about to travel to Madagascar next year in April/May 2013.
Is a worsening of the security-situation to be feared or expected, because of the planed elections in May 2013?
Thank you for any honest advice
Nov 24, 2012 3:18 AM
If the planned elections go ahead ,it would be a good idea to stay away from the capital and some of the larger cities in the few days leading up to,during and immediately after the elections.I am a long time resident of Mada and i will be doing just this.If there is trouble it is more likely to be an inconvenience rather than a security threat to your own self. I would hate to discourage anyone from visiting what is a truly magnificent country but during the elections you can expect things to be a little tense but by no means dangerous. Good luck
Nov 25, 2012 3:06 AM
One of the operative parts of #1’s answer is “If the planned elections go ahead.” Elections have been planned and cancelled so many times that even those of my Malagasy friends who are politically active are adopting an “I’ll believe it when it happens” attitude.
However, assuming they do go ahead, it’s difficult to see how you could get into the country while staying away from the capital, unless you intend to fly in to Ivato and take an onward domestic flight the same day. That may be worth considering, but not if you’re intending to travel around by taxi brousse.
I agree one hundred per cent with #1 when he says “if there is trouble it is more likely to be an inconvenience rather than a security threat to your own self.” Tourists have never been targeted in all the time of instability. Attacks on Europeans have been broadly limited to (sometimes violent) burglaries of the homes of long-time residents as part of “ordinary” criminal behaviour (which the instability has made it harder to keep under control) or, at the beginning, attacks on a small number of whites whose behaviour gave fuel to rumours of white mercenaries in the country.
I therefore don’t really think it’s necessary to completely avoid the capital as long as you behave sensibly. That means basically giving all demonstrations and large gatherings of people a wide berth, as emotions do get very overheated, and the reactions of the security forces can be unpredictable. Also, you should follow the advice of people on the ground at the time (like the staff of your hotel for example).
I’ve spent around three months a year in Madagascar for several years now, and have several Malagasy friends with whom I’m in constant phone and e-mail contact, and they endorse the advice I’m giving. I was also, incidentally, in Tana in February and early March 2009, when the coup (for that is what it turned out to be) was at its very beginning. Certainly, there was tension in the air, but people on the street were just incredibly friendly and happy to see us, as we were the only Europeans around, everyone else seemingly having headed for the hills.
Again, I agree with #1’s view when he says “you can expect things to be a little tense but by no means dangerous”. That about sums it up. I have no plans to go in April or May this year, but I certainly would have no second thoughts about going if my plans allowed.
By the way, if Tamatave is on your planned itinerary, that is a town where lawlessness has increased in the wake of the coup and even Malagasy people will avoid going out on foot or by rickshaw after dark – take a taxi.
Dec 4, 2012 3:38 AM
Dec 20, 2012 5:18 AM
4I agree with the other 2 - I wouldn't avoid mada at election time but just use common sense. I would like the others suggest heading out of tana ASAP. Once you get into the Brousse political tension is barely existant. I've been here in the tulear region for 6 years and the gasy are friendly and nonconfrontational in general!
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